Friday, October 18, 2013

On Allowing Introverts the Autonomy They Need in Our Classrooms - Open Mic # 2 EDU 718

This week for EDU 718 we explored a series of very interesting readings, videos and songs.  They were:

Additional (optional):

Here is my reflection on the information.

I found all of the readings and videos to be very informative.  They inspired me to reflect on the ways which our classrooms often honor and reinforce extrovertedness.  I appreciated the distinction made in several articles between the terms shy and introvert.  I find it especially helpful to think of introversion as having to do with how one re energises her/himself.  In my family there are two of us who are typically considered introverts and two who are typically considered extroverts.  When I consider introversion in terms of “alone time needed to re energize” I categorize us all as introverts.  Thinking of my family members and how we all learn best helps me analyze how our classrooms can be more conducive to affording introverts opportunities to flourish.

There are several teaching techniques for Introverts listed in The Forum- By Susan Cain The Power of Introverts which was one of the optional readings for this assignment.  There was a common theme throughout most of the suggestions and that had to do with offering students a choice in both how they work and how they present their learning.  In designing classroom instruction the teacher will honor all styles if she/he allows for different ways to process and presenting information.  There were also several references made to how technology can afford differentiated opportunities and modes of presentation for students.

In the blog post Techniques In Learning & Teaching Where Transformative Learning & Scholarly Teaching Meet  Ilene Dawn discusses undergraduate and graduate level courses and how to nurture both introvert and extrovert styles.  Of particular interest to me was her proposition to encourage people of each style to grow.  She stated  “The Courage to Optimize the thinking and acting modes embedded in both introverted and extroverted processing, and to Optimize ways of building and using skills across the collected capacities infused across extroverted and introverted preferences, these fuse to create these new capacities:
Courage to speak – softly.
Courage to listen – mindfully.
Courage to ask questions – reflectively.
Courage to synthesize – collaboratively.  “
I am grateful to this group for choosing this topic.  I have learned about several ways to honor different ways of “being” and learning.  In summary there are two quotes from Manifesto, by Susan Cain - 16 beliefs regarding introverts which I will quote:

9. Everyone shines, given the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight, for others, a lamplit desk.
16. ‘In a gentle way, you can shake the world.’ – Gandhi “

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